10 of the best healthy winter soups

While the weather stays chilly, soups are the perfect winter warmer without the heaviness of your favourite comfort foods.

10 of the best healthy winter soups

Healthy, budget-friendly and easy to make, soups are the perfect winter meal offering plenty of health benefits. Lending itself to experimentation, you can also throw leftovers in to create new variations of your favourite recipes. Here are our top picks for the best winter-warming soups.

Hot and sour chicken broth

Ingredients

  • 1-2 red chillies
  • 1-2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1.75L light organic chicken or veg stock
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 2 shallots, or one small white onion
  • 3 sticks of lemongrass
  • 2-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2-3 limes
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 large handful of beansprouts

Method

  1. Finely chop the shallots and lemongrass.
  2. Grate the ginger and garlic, and thinly slice the chilli.
  3. Chop the coriander leaves from their stalks, trim and finely slice the spring onions, and set aside.
  4. Cut the chicken into thick chunks.
  5. Gently sweat the shallots in a splash of oil until soft, before adding the garlic, lemongrass and ginger and frying lightly for 1 minute.
  6. Add the stock and chicken. Add most of the chilli and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Add the fresh lime juice.
  8. Add more lime or chilli to taste.
  9. Upon serving, add the coriander, beansprouts and spring onions.

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 75ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 600g mixed mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced

Method

  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean and then finely slice.
  2. Pick the parsley, finely chopping the stalks. Pick the thyme leaves.
  3. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, thyme leaves and mushrooms.
  4. Put the lid on and cook gently until the onions have softened.
  5. Remove a spoonful or two of the mushrooms and set aside.
  6. Add the stock and bring to the boil over a medium heat before turning the heat down to low and simmering for 15 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then whiz with a blender until smooth.
  8. Pour in the milk, bring just back to the boil, then turn off the heat.
  9. Spoon the soup into bowls, garnish with the chopped parsley and remaining mushrooms.

Chickpea and Vegetable soup


Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 large carrot, quartered lengthways and chopped
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • 100g green beans, chopped
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh root ginger
  • 1 tbsp garam masala

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add the onion, ginger and garlic.
  2. Fry for 2 mins until softened and add the garam masala
  3. Fry for a further 1 minute and add the stock and carrots.
  4. Simmer for 10 mins before adding the chickpeas. Use a blender to whizz the soup a little and stir in the beans, before simmering for 3 mins.
  5. Divide between bowls and enjoy.

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, chopped into wedges
  • 300g carrot, in chunks
  • 300g parsnip, in chunks
  • 300g peeled butternut squash
  • 1 small potato
  • 2 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1.3L hot vegetable stock

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Tip all the vegetables and the garlic into a roasting tin.
  3. Sprinkle over the ras el hanout, as well as some salt and pepper, drizzle over the oil and give everything a good stir.
  4. Roast until the vegetables are tender and starting to caramelise a little – try to turn them halfway through cooking.
  5. Transfer the contents to a large saucepan, pour over the hot stock and simmer for 5 mins.
  6. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, then ladle into a flask for work.

Thai pumpkin soup

Ingredients

  • 1½ kg pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1 red chilli, to serve
  • 4 tsp sunflower oil
  • 850ml vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 3-4 tbsp Thai red curry paste

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Toss the chopped pumpkin in a roasting tin with half the oil and seasoning and roast for 30 mins until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan and lightly fry the onion, ginger and lemongrass.
  4. Cook gently for 8-10 mins until softened.
  5. Stir in the curry paste and heat through, followed by the roasted pumpkin, all but 3 tbsp of the coconut milk, and the stock.
  6. Bring to a simmer, simmer for 5 mins and remove the lemongrass.
  7. Cool for a few mins, then whizz until smooth in a food processor.
  8. Return to the pan to heat through, seasoning with salt, pepper, lime juice and sugar, if it needs it.

Celery and Watercress

Ingredients

  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 200g watercress
  • 1 fat clove garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 500g potatoes

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Once hot, stir in the onion, garlic and sliced celery and fry gently until soft.
  3. Add the potatoes to the pan and continue to fry for 5 minutes, before adding the stock and 500ml water.
  4. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.
  5. Add the watercress leaves to the softened vegetables.
  6. Cook for 4 minutes and place in a blender until smooth.
  7. Season to taste and reheat when needed.

Roasted Tomato soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 750g ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 400g of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.25L vegetable stock

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a roasting tray with baking parchment and top with the tomatoes, onions, carrots and garlic cloves.
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until caramelised.
  4. Transfer to a large saucepan and add the tinned tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Purée the soup in a food processor (you may have to do this in batches)
  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and heat through again before serving.

Chicken and barley soup

Ingredients

  • 50g pearl barley
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1.25L chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 200g shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 stick celery, chopped

Method

  1. Soak the pearl barley in cold water overnight.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
  3. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, and lightly fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, along with the tomatoes and strain the barley.
  5. Add the barley to the saucepan along with the chicken.
  6. Bring the pan to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. 

Cauliflower and Leek soup

Ingredients

  • 2L chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 75g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • ½tsp sea salt
  • 25g sesame seeds
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 large cauliflower, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add the leeks, garlic and celery and lightly fry for around 5 minutes, or until golden.
  3. Add the cauliflower, cook for 2 minutes and pour in the stock.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Purée the soup in a food processor and return to the heat if needed.
  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Herby chicken and butterbean soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs sage, chopped
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs, cooked and shredded
  • 1.5L chicken stock
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 400g can butter beans
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. If using chicken thighs, add these to the pan and brown on all sides before removing and setting aside.
  3. Add the onions to the oil and fry for 10 mins until starting to caramelise.
  4. Add the carrots, herbs, spices and flour, and stir for 1-2 mins to toast the spices.
  5. Add the browned chicken thighs and stock, stir well, cover and simmer for 30 mins.
  6. If using chicken thighs, remove them from the pan, shred the meat and discard the bones.
  7. Add the meat back into the soup, along with the butter beans. Season and heat through for 1-2 mins.
  8. Use a hand-held blender to blitz the soup until smooth, or leave it chunky. Or blend about half, so it’s creamy but still has chunks of chicken, carrot and butter bean.

For more healthy and delicious running recipes head over to our recipe hub

Join now for free!

Get fitter, stronger, faster with The Running Bug.

You might also like